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Comparison of methods for planimetric assessment of denture plaque

Verran, Joanna and Smith, Philip W. and Higham, Susan M. and Coulthwaite, Lisa (2006) Comparison of methods for planimetric assessment of denture plaque. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract

Objectives: To compare methods for planimetric assessment of denture plaque. Methods: Stained and unstained plaque on complete dentures (n=40) were imaged using digital white light and a novel plaque imaging system, Quantitative Light-induced Fluorescence (QLF). QLF utilizes enamel autofluorescence as an indicator of demineralization. For dentures, QLF enables detection of fluorescing plaque. Planimetric data were also obtained for standards ranked subjectively on a 1 – 10 coverage scale. Preliminary in vitro assessment was made of an LED ring illuminating system (410nm) to detect plaque on dentures disclosed with fluorescein. Results: Plaque was visible before disclosing on 55% of the dentures imaged. Images of disclosed plaque were suitable for planimetric measurement of coverage. Using white light, reflection interfered with plaque coverage analysis. This problem was overcome using QLF. However, half of the subjects' dentures were unsuitable for QLF assessment due to low fluorescence of the acrylic teeth: thus the software was unable to define tooth borders and calculate plaque area coverage. The denture base and fitting surface did not fluoresce. QLF assessment was also time consuming, requiring twice the number of images needed for white light analysis (12 per denture for the latter). Percentage coverage data obtained from the 1 – 10 ranked standards showed no correlation. Plaque disclosure using fluorescein provided good contrast for planimetric analysis of any denture surface. Conclusion: QLF is not a suitable method for denture plaque assessment. The most clinically relevant surface to assess in terms of health is the fitting surface, and LED ring illumination generated good images for planimetric analysis of this surface. Effective plaque disclosure was provided by fluorescein. Planimetric plaque analysis offers improved quantification of plaque area measurement over subjective visual ranking. Partial funding from ReckittBenckiser.

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